The views from the Selkirk on 4th condos looking outward are hard to describe. When you stand next to the specialized, glazed glass wall panels and peer out in any direction, what you see almost doesn’t seem real. For all of the high-end amenities, modern construction techniques and take-your-breathe-away aesthetics of the new condos in the heart of downtown Grand Forks, the best element of all is truly the unbelievable views. Towards the junction of the Red and Red Lake Rivers, the condo views reveal a landscape truth that is inspiring and a reminder of the natural elements that define the region. Towards the state mill, the scene is of progress, both old and new. And towards the downtown, the tops of buildings show the arteries of the city that somehow all now seem to connect back to the Selkirk condos.
The Name In 1872, Alexander Griggs, Selkirk steamboat captain staked a claim to land on the Red River. That 9-acre piece of land would become downtown Grand Forks. Griggs has long been acknowledged as being responsible for the growth of Grand Forks from a trading post to a town. His efforts earned him the title, “Father of Grand Forks.”
Prices range from $260,370 for a single bedroom, single bathroom to $450,000 for a two bed, two bath unit. All units include parking based on number of bedrooms. A
recently added interconnected walkway to the parking ramp across the street was also added for additional guests. The units are pet friendly.
Craig Tweten Cares About Quality
To aid in the design and build concepts that would be used at the Selkirks, Craig Tweten, president of Community Contractors, drove to Minneapolis. While there, he visited as many high-end condos as he could to see what others were doing.
To ensure the choices for cabinets, flooring, windows and appliances were right, he built mock-up cabinets and tested the products used in the condos today. “I’m proud of the quality here,” he says. “Matching these views with unmatched quality is something I’ll always
be happy about.”
He and his team are also happy with their new-found ability to perform logistical juggling acts. The confines of the construction zone made bringing in materials—or storing them before installation—a pain point. “We made it all work
and now the community has a special place.”
When Dakota Commercial, Community Contractors and JLG Architects first started planning out the design and layout of the five-story building, a team of drone pilots actually flew drones equipped with cameras to the height of each floor. Everyone involved in the project wanted to know exactly what each tenant would be able to see from their space. Those drone flights took place many months ago. Today, the building is wrapping up completion and several units have already sold or are spoken for.
Kevin Ritterman Goes For Wow
Kevin Ritterman, longtime CEO of Dakota Commercial, has developed an impressive number of commercial buildings. None have turned out like the Selkirk. None of his previous projects presented the challenges of this building. And, few were more rewarding to complete, he says. Ritterman considers this project his toughest to date, from the early public debate about the space, to designing a high-end mixed-used building in tight quarters, to the creation of a new concept for a traditional North Dakota town.
“We wanted to build something with a wow factor,” he says. The goal was to mimic a downtown Minneapolis loft or warehouse condo. They are not inexpensive, he says, but they are well done and couldn’t be any nicer. “We wanted to make sure that tenants got the true feeling and benefit of living downtown.”
Part of Dakota Commercial’s early challenge with the condos was promoting the idea of living and working downtown. But, an early open house and feedback proved that the concept would be popular. “This wasn’t a cookie-cutter building. Grand Forks just hasn’t seen something like this before,” he says.
Ritterman is proud that the developers did what they said they were going to do, got the building done in the time frame they planned and that the vision, complete with all of the amazing views both inside and out, was realized.
The history of the building would not be complete without a mention of a public discourse about the utilization of downtown space. Now, it would be hard to argue that the future of downtown Grand Forks doesn’t start with the presence of the Selkirks. G
// To view the full story, check out the digital issue here
From Issue 1, 2020
PHOTOS BY: Manstrom Photography